This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Need some help with creating your weight loss diet plan? Add these 22 weight loss friendly foods to your diet for awesome results.
Not all foods have the same impact on your weight loss journey. Different foods have different impact on things like hunger, energy and calorie deficit.
The foods might not get you all the way there but eating them more should get you closer to your weight loss goals.
Salmon and fatty fish in general, is a great addition to your weight loss diet.
Because it is filled with healthy fats and protein, salmon is very satiating.
Salmon is also a kind of fish which isn’t incredibly high in mercury. Too much mercury can damage your health.
You can avoid this by avoiding mercury-heavy fish like for example tuna and not eating fish more than a few times a week.
Eggs were once considered dangerous for being high in dietary cholesterol. However, more recent views on the matter may indicate that dietary cholesterol doesn’t have that much influence on your blood cholesterol levels (1).
People with a history of high cholesterol might still want to be cautious with overconsuming eggs until there is more certainty.
For most people 2-3 eggs a day should be okay. Even better than okay in terms of weight loss.
Eggs are high in protein and fat which makes them very satiating. Hunger is a big reason why people fail to stick to their diet plan. So it’s a big plus if eggs help you avoid this.
Eggs are also extremely nutrient-dense. You need certain nutrients to survive and thrive and eggs can you help with this.
3. Leafy greens
Leafy greens are vegetables like spinach, kale, cabbage,…
These foods have a few things in common that make them great to add to your weight loss diet.
They are low in calories and high in fiber, a kind of plant based carbohydrate that does not get absorbed as calories. These vegetables also usually contain a nice amount of water. This again fills you up without adding calories to your diet.
Leafy greens also contain important micronutrients like vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
4. Lean chicken and beef
Meat is a frequently discussed topic these days. It would be incorrect to say that all the advantages and disadvantages of consuming it are completely clear.
What is known for sure is that meat contains a nice amount of protein. This can help you preserve muscle and fill you up without adding too many calories to your diet.
If you want to make sure you stay in a calorie deficit each day, you can opt for leaner meats. This means for example poultry and the leaner cuts of beef.
You can swap these sources of animal protein with plant-based protein every once in a while.
5. Boiled potatoes
Potatoes are an inexpensive source of nutrients. They can also be great for weight loss for a couple of reasons.
Boiled potatoes contain a nice amount of fiber and not that many calories. They will also help you reach your nutrient intake for a few micronutrients like for example potassium.
When trying to lose weight, you of course want to avoid them in more processed ways like french fries and potato chips. The processing adds a lot of calories and makes them easy to overeat on.
One way to make them even better is by boiling them and then letting them cool off. Weirdly enough this increases the amount of resistant starch in them. Resistant starch can be beneficial for your gut health. It also fills you up pretty good without adding calories.
6. Beans and legumes
Beans and other legumes are considered to be pretty good for weight loss.
Some examples of legumes are beans, peas and lentils.
The good thing about these foods is that they’re relatively high in protein and fiber. Both very important nutrients for feeling fuller with less calories.
Do keep in mind that some people don’t tolerate legumes very well. These individuals might want to focus on the other foods on this list.
This food category is a double-edged sword in some ways.
On the one hand, nuts are full of fiber and nutrients.
On the other hand they are fairly high in calories. It’s true that these calories are primarily good fats but they still add up.
One thing you can do is get pistachios that are still in their shell. The peeling will help you avoid overeating on them.
Avocado deserves its own spot on the list.
It contains a lot of fiber, a lot of micronutrients and the fats it does have are primarily good fats.
Fruits have some properties that make them healthy. Mainly the fiber and water content in them is great.
Do keep in mind that not all fruits are made equal. Some are higher in calories than others.
Some examples of great fruits are lemon and watermelon.
10. Whole grains
Low-carb dieters can make it seem like everything carbohydrate related is the worst thing possible for your health.
However, whole grains are full of fiber and micronutrients. It’s true that they contain some carbohydrate calories but that doesn’t have to stop you from consuming this filling food category.
11. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are great if you’re looking for a fiber heavy food.
They contain around 37.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams which is an extremely high amount (2).
This will ultimately help you consume less calorie heavy foods without feeling too bad.
12. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is awesome for a couple of reasons.
The first reason is because of its protein content.
Greek yogurt also contains a nice amount of vitamin and minerals.
It can also contain probiotic bacteria which improve your gut health. Good gut health has been linked to lower weight and health in general.
Some brands add sugar to thier Greek yogurt so make sure you check the nutrition labels.
As long as you don’t add too much butter, sugar and other unhealthy things, popcorn is a pretty healthy snack.
Soup is a great way to combine the vitamins and minerals from vegetables with extra water intake.
Do keep in mind to calm down with adding cream and oil. These ingredients are fairly high in calories without filling you up that much.
15. Chili pepper
Eating peppers can actually increase the amount of calories you burn.
The key substance in them is called “capsaicin”. This substance can help you increase fat burning and reduce appetite.
This one is not for everyone, some people experience stomach problems and such when they consume spicy food.
16. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are a category of vegetables because they are all part of a specifc family, the “Brassicaceae”.
Complicated names aside, some examples of these are brussels sprouts, cauliflower broccoli,…
Like with most vegetables, these are high in fiber and low in calories.
This one can be especially good for the pasta-lovers out there.
Zucchini is a vegetable you can use to create a healthier pasta alternative.
For example, you can grate it to get a spaghetti replacement. It can similarly replace the pasta in lasagna.
18. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is another great option for your weight loss diet.
The main component that makes this food so good is protein.
There are most likely different brands at your local store. Some of these will probably have a lot of added calories. Try to avoid these ones.
Mushrooms contain a lot of micronutrients relative to their calorie content.
This may be one of the reasons why they get associated with reducing cognitive decline (3).
Spices are an interesting part of the human diet.
They not only improve the taste of food but they also posses the power to improve health.
For example, one of the benefits of the right kind of cinnamon is more weight loss.
Some people describe berries as the vitamin pills from nature and there is a reason for this.
They usually are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
Combine this with a relatively small calorie count and you get some amazing weight loss friendly food.
22. Fermented foods
Fermented foods are foods that have been left alone to ferment for a while.
In this process the amount of probiotic bacteria increases. Consuming probiotic bacteria can improve gut health. Better gut health is linked to lower weight and better health.
Some examples of fermented foods are kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, kombucha, and yogurt.
Adding these weight loss friendly foods to your diet can greatly benefit you fat burning journey.
Do keep in mind that avoiding certain foods can be just as powerful as just implementing more good foods.
Combine these two methods and you’re on your way to a healthier you.